Two New eBooks at Amazon Kindle!

FacebookMySpaceTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponRSS Feed


When you speak regularly for churches, schools, organizations, and ministries you experience a lot of things. Most things are good, because the people with whom you're working are good people attempting to do their best. But sometimes the doing-their-best isn’t attempted and as a guest speaker you’re left with having to go with the flow.

For example, here are a few fairly frequent occurrences:

--People promise the moon in terms of the support technology you’ll have available, e.g., video projectors, sound systems, etc. But the tech available isn’t what the contact person thinks it is.

--Often the tech available is exactly what the contact person promised it would be, sometimes top-notch. But tech is only as good as the person operating it, and this is where organizations trip-up way too often. The person, a volunteer, doesn’t show up. The person is late, isn’t adept at using the tech, knows some other kind of tech, like Apple vs. PC, but does not know what’s on hand.

--The tech support person doesn’t listen. This is an amazingly common experience. People want to run their tech the way they want to run it, not the way a guest speaker wants or believes the audience needs. I worked not long ago with a young woman who didn’t want to turn up the sound on the video—her 20-year-old ears could hear just fine, but the audience was 40-85 years, leaning in trying to hear. My wife told a fellow she wanted to play vid #2 and he says, “Yeah.” Then when she’s ready up comes vid #1.

--Sometimes orgs want you to speak “while people eat—oh, it’ll be OK.” I’ve done this many times and likely will many more, but it’s not OK. People want to socialize while they eat, not listen to a speaker.

--The host org generously provides food, which is appreciated. But whoever coordinates the food support sets it up as a buffet line, wanting to maximize choice. But what this maximizes is time, a lot, especially when people make their own sandwiches one condiment at a time. This can eat up, pun intended, half the assigned speaking time. It’s much better to go with something very simple or with box meals from a place like Panera Bread or Jimmy Johns.

--Organizations invite or otherwise allow you to speak and then a day before remember they want you to speak on a complex theme that has little or nothing to do with your expertise, plans, etc. For some reason, churches especially want you to fit their motif rather than present your ministry’s work.

There’s more, but you get the picture about learning to flex and go with the flow. 

I have a theory about why contact persons over-promise re tech and tech support. Most of them are 40 and up. They don’t live and breathe tech. This doesn’t mean they’re technologically illiterate, just that they don’t use it for speaking, certainly not daily. And every time they’ve seen it work, it has, because the president or senior pastor is there and the tech support is as it should be. But not when the guest shows up.

All this is why most of us who travel and speak regularly carry our own small vid projectors and speakers. If you don’t, you’re at the mercy of these vicissitudes.

Have PowerPoint. Have Video. Have Vid Projector/Speakers. Will Travel.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at

Men and women have worked together since Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Thing is, though, with them--they were husband and wife.

To state the obvious: most people at work are not married. So what do proper relationships between men and women in the workplace look like for those who are not married? By "proper relationships," I mean moral, professional, and appropriately friendly and productive relationships.

In the past thirty years or so "gender relations" has become a much bigger concern for businesses and organizations. In some ways we've become more aware. We've finally awakened to some serious problems and begun to try to correct them for the benefit of everyone but usually especially for women. In other ways we've become hyper-sensitive to the point where some "fixes" seem worse than the problem. For corporations, gender relations in the workplace has become so much policy. But who can write a policy for every eventuality?

Shouldn't adult professionals police themselves on such common sense matters? Well, yes they should, but some men and women are not mature, some are naughty, and some are downright nasty. All this means the corporation, to protect itself from legal liability and to protect its employees from unwanted and harmful interactions with the opposite (or maybe the same) gender have had to develop H.R. policies.

Then there's the issue of what used to be acceptable--maybe, for example, truly innocent friendly hugging--isn't wanted or isn't always acceptable any more.

During my days as a university administrator our institution and other similar ones had to address gender issues, including appropriate interaction. Out of those experiences I wrote this recently published article: "Men and Women In The Workplace." It's not the last word, not even my last word, on the subject. But it does address some basic concerns, share what I learned, and make some recommendations.

One thing's for sure, the question of appropriate male/female interaction in the workplace is never going to go away.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at

A friend and I stopped for lunch today at an IHOP in Dallas, Texas. A young waitress seated us, spoke pleasantly, told us her name, and said she’d be “helping you today.” We ordered our meals, bantered with her about my friend’s request for an “Arnold Palmer” (half ice tea and half lemonade), which she’d never heard of, and laughed with her as she brought back her first attempt mixing the concoction. She then left to place our orders.

Maybe 10 minutes later we looked out the window to see her walking across the parking lot to her car. We laughed and joked, “Looks like she won’t be helping us after all.” Little did we know.

We waited another several minutes and finally hailed another waitress to ask her about our order. To our surprise, Waitress #2 said no order had been placed and that she knew nothing about it. She also said Waitress #1 had not, as was standard operating procedure, informed her about our table.

Amazingly, Waitress #1 apparently walked out at the end of her shift fully aware she hadn’t placed our order, even though she’d had plenty of time to do so. What made it more amazing is that she’d responded so graciously earlier, emphasizing she would care for our luncheon requests. Considering: she had to know she was leaving when she blatantly made those statements.

It’s not like this is the end of the world. But it’s been a while since I’ve witnessed someone act with utter disregard for protocol and professionalism. Giving her just a little room for doubt, maybe she got an emergency call. If so, she certainly wasn’t hurrying to her car. Actually, she was playing with her hair. No, she just walked out. So much for work ethic professionalism.

We talked about this incident, of course, with our new waitress, who by the way, was nice, efficient, attentive, and professional. Finally we decided we weren’t doing Waitress #1 any favors by ignoring her stiff arm. So we asked to talk to the manager.

The restaurant manager showed up moments later looking like he’d rather be somewhere else and no doubt wondering what we were going to unload on him. But we simply and straightforwardly told him what had happened, what the waitress’s name was, which she’d made a point of telling us—too bad for her—and saying to the manager that we thought Waitress #2 was a good and worthy employee. He apologized for our experience, though he didn’t offer us a free meal, and said he’d care for it.

I don’t know if the manager will follow through. It’s up to him now. But I hope Waitress #1 learns something out of this other than how to make an Arnie Palmer.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at

Traveling is fun—for a while. Or, if your sweetie is with you. But go away from home too long and you start hallucinating. And you become adept at all manner of travel folkways, tricks, and weasely moves to better your position.

You learn to identify seats in airports where it’s least likely someone will sit near you while initiating unnaturally loud cell phone conversations. You know which hotel chain has the best Internet service. You know which flights to book a window seat and which to be sure you get the aisle—and you never book a middle seat.

You know in which region of the country, or for that matter which country, to say “pop,” which to say “soda,” and which to say “Coke Lite” rather than “Diet Coke.” Same goes for “cream” in your coffee—the rest of the world says “milk” and doesn’t know what you mean if you say “cream.”

I find it ironic and amusing that as I write this in a Starbucks in Cupertino, California, the Bee Gees' "Lonely Days, Lonely Nights, Where Would I Be Without My Woman?" is playing in the background.

Well, when you’ve been on the road too long, one or more of these 12 signals suggest it’s over-time to go home:

*You understand more about registration check-in/out than the average hotel clerk.

*Your collection of little shampoos, conditioners, and lotions rivals Procter & Gamble.

*You finally figure out how the shower really works.

*You don’t mind sitting on hold for an hour with an airline to change a flight to get home a day sooner.

*You’re recognized by the teenage sub-meister at Subway.

*You actually miss that silly cat.

*You can’t remember state laws pertaining to cell-phone-use-while-driving because you can’t remember what state you’re in, and whatever state it is, the law’s different from the state you were in yesterday.

*You get tired of drinking coffee from a cardboard cup.

*You have to install a new roll of toilet paper in your hotel bathroom.

*You call and say, “It’s me,” and your wife says “Who?”

*Your list of states where you’ve gotten a speeding or other traffic violation just got longer.

*You run out of clean underwear.

Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home, where my thought's escaping
Home, where my music's playing
Home, where my love lies waiting
Silently for me

--Lyrics by Simon and Garfunkel.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow Dr. Rogers at

Given the air travel I’ve been doing I think I have a reasonable sense of what’s not happening in customer relations on America’s airlines. In short, customer relations are MIA.

Take today. I arrived at the airport to discover that Continental had rebooked my flight from Philadelphia to Newark as a train ride. That’s right, a train. No one contacted me to see if I approved this change. It was just made. So here I am at Philly International and the train station is downtown.

No problem, right? Just rebook. This I tried to do until the Continental agent said, “I can’t change the ticket. It belongs to Delta.” Even though Delta and Continental are not part of the same airline cooperative, still, mysteriously having something to do with Orbitz, the ticket belonged to Delta because I’d flown to the City of Brotherly Love on that airline.

A long walk through the ticketing area brought me to Delta. The agent, a woman maybe in her mid-20s, says, and I kid you not, “What do you want?” I resist telling her what I’m thinking and simply explain my need to rebook a jet, not a train. She immediately appears flummoxed, taps innumerable keys, and challenges my interpretation of the issue until I produce paperwork proving my view. After more rolling of the eyes, exaggerated body movements, and looks of disgust at other agents—not at me—I’m not sure she ever made eye contact with me—she tells me she can’t do this and the ticket belongs to Continental.

I show her my paperwork once again demonstrating otherwise and she calls in a manager, a woman who was a bit more mature but never intervened in any way in how her employee conducted herself. After more calls, keys, and denials it could be done, the young agent finds the right page in the system. Now she challenges my drivers’ license’s validity—I had just gone to the Secretary of State’s Office for renewal and the license had a paper stapled to it. My new one awaits me at home. Finally, I get her past this and she completes the work, prints new boarding passes, and slaps them—yes, slaps them—on the counter in front of me. Never once did she say “Thanks” or “Sorry for the confusion” or for that matter anything civil.

When I get to Detroit I discover the agent had put me on a later flight when an earlier one was available. I rebooked again but paid for this by an eventual delay in the flight and a wait at Grand Rapids for my luggage to come in on the original still later flight.

When my bag didn’t arrive in Grand Rapids I approached the Delta desk where three agents were standing working over another bag. Fine, I waited. Then one agent left without looking at me, the other agent didn’t acknowledge my presence and finally wondered off, and the third continued to ignore me. Finally she looked up and asked if I had a bag claim.

Not every agent is like these. One fellow today called me “Mr. Rogers,” smiled, said, “Have a good flight,” and in every way acted professionally. But too many act otherwise. Too many give you attitude, suggesting whatever the problem, it’s clearly your fault, not the airline’s and certainly not theirs.

I’ve written before that American airlines need to learn about customer service from international airlines. It’s not that they have to spend a lot of money. Southwest Airlines consistently ranks at the top of customer satisfaction and it’s a no-frills airline featuring flight attendants who rap, dance, chant poetry and more. It’s about giving customers the modicum of respect they deserve.

Question for the Christian: How should one respond when treated unprofessionally? Answer as one is tempted? Let them have it. Raise your voice? Or maybe don't say anything at all, just walk meekly away? Or should we somehow find a way to speak the truth in love?


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow Dr. Rogers at




Airlines and airports could greatly improve customer relations by offering a few, comparatively inexpensive amenities.

-Free WiFi. Many airports already provide this helpful service. Others are still hanging on, like expensive hotels, to fees in the neighborhood of $9.95 per day. But who needs it for an entire day? And for the money the airport makes versus the public goodwill this amenity would inspire, it’s a no brainer.

-Make jet communication systems comprehensible. It’s amazing. We can fly a jet full of people around the world, but we can’t make an intercom that works. Poor com systems are a lot more prevalent than you’d think.

-Uninstall so-called safety beepers on transport carts. I know this is Federal law, not airport policy, but the noise pollution these infernal beepers introduce is incredible. And for what? Before they were installed how many people were hit by carts? If they were removed, how many incidents, really, would airports experience each year? Not many. Why can’t we depend more on the common sense of drivers and walkers than on nanny-government oversight?

-Offer Cell Phone-Free Zones. Sounds impractical Ior impossible, but airports are now offering glass-enclosed rooms for smokers. Why not rooms for workers who want to focus without the benefit of someone sitting beside them who initiates a loud-voiced cell phone call? Interestingly, some airline clubs, like Delta’s Sky Club, offer such rooms adorned with a sign featuring a red-circled cell phone with a line through it, i.e. No Cell Phones. So you think, “Great, a noise free room.” Think again. All these rooms feature large flat screen televisions turned on and turned up.

-More Electrical Receptacles. The number of available receptacles is growing but not by much. Some airports offer posts of receptacles, but these are few and far between. Some older airports don’t seem to have any receptacles for the public. Like free WiFi, this is a modern convenience. Virtually everyone is virtual, or wants to be, so why not grant them the power to charge phones and connect online in between flights?

American airlines and airports are already falling behind international counterparts in how they treat customers and what’s considered reasonable support for travelers. These adjustments would help. Any one of these amenities would make for happier fliers. Sure, they all cost something, but the trade-off in customer goodwill would be substantial.

>Posted in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport without power and without free WiFi.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow Dr. Rogers at